Saturday, 20 May 2017

Busy as a Sewing bee...lotta Jandsdotter's, Every Day Style...

A day home alone...Ahmad poor thing, was away again. This time Birmingham. (England, not Alabama.) He left Friday night, bag weighed down with books and rolled up flip chart pages, scribed with foreign looking mathematical symbols that could have been hieroglyphics.   

My Saturday all planned out. New-to-me vintage 1980's sewing machine ready for it's trial run. Pattern book: 'Lotta Jansdotters Everyday Style', tracing paper, tailors chalk, pins, and scissors. 

A length of vintage navy woollen fabric with subtle, almost invisible pinstripes reminiscent of granddad's three piece suit. The end of a roll stamped with golden letters, woven in Scotland, probably fifty years ago. Still with the little brown card label and cursive script. Just enough to make the Esme tunic...but without the sleeves... That would work...A cool masculine pinafore dress. Workware.

I picked up the fabric and saw that it was peppered with holes...As big as speckles of coarse sea salt when the light shone through. Maybe chewed by ancient moths or accidentally pierced by the wayward slip of a hand.  It didn't matter. All part of the wrinkles of a long life. The sheep that was shorn, the fleece that was combed, the wool, washed and spun. Yarn dyed, then woven.  Wrapped onto rolls and cut into lengths. The old gnarled or fresh young hands that had each taken part in the narrative. Pondered how long that piece had been waiting until I found it...and so, it's life begins again...

Easy cauliflower curry

  • a medium sized cauliflower
  • tomato passata or fresh skinned tomatoes, chopped finely
  • a little tomato puree
  • can of organic coconut milk
  • a medium sized white onion or three or four shallots
  • sea salt and black pepper and garlic cloves
  • coconut oil or alternative to cook
  • spice mix, garam masala or your own choice, I like ground turmeric, coriander seed and cumin, with chilli flakes
  • a little hot stock or water
  • fresh coriander or other herbs to serve 
  1. peel and slice the onion. Place a little coconut oil into a heavy bottomed pan and heat up. Place the onion into the pan and begin to sauté
  2. meanwhile wash the cauliflower and divide into florets and chop the tomatoes finely, if using. The smaller you cut the florets the quicker this will cook
  3. cook the onion until it is almost caramelised, add the garlic cloves and cook. Add the spices, stir well and cook for a minutes or so
  4. add the passata or fresh tomatoes and bring to a simmer then reduce the heat 
  5. season with salt and pepper and add the cauliflower floret. Cover and cook until tender, adding the coconut milk after about fifteen minutes.
  6. cook until the cauliflower is tender adding stock or water if necessary. Ensuring that it doesn't dry out.
  7. add a little chopped fresh coriander or other herb
This is lovely served with cooked brown basmati rice, (especially if cooked in half water, half coconut milk mix),  or creamy whipped mashed potatoes/parsnips or butter beans...Yummy...  


  1. Hello Debby:
    I love your sewing room.
    It is very exciting to use old fabrics to create new dresses. Some have seen it with cloths of my grandmothers.
    Photos of your meals always make you want to eat.
    Happy summer!

    1. Ohh Montse.
      Good to hear from you. Thank you for your kind comments. I hope that the sun is shining for you. Happy summer too.

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